Practicing physical distancing...does that mean sexual distancing, too?
We're doing what we can - limiting trips to get groceries, not hanging out with friends, wearing face masks.
Now, more than ever, we are realizing how much we need human connections. And sex is one of those connections. But how can we have sex safely in the era of COVID-19?
Well, it's a little complicated.
First, let's look at what we KNOW about COVID-19:
- It spreads from person-to-person.
- People can have no symptoms and still spread the virus.
- The virus can spread to people who are within about 6 feet of a person with COVID-19:
- When that person coughs or sneezes.
- From direct contact with their saliva or mucus.
- We also know that COVID-19 has been found in the feces of people who are infected with the virus.
But, here’s what we DON’T KNOW for sure:
- We know that other coronaviruses* do not efficiently transmit through sex – but this virus is new.
- COVID-19 has not YET been found in semen or vaginal fluid.
Here are some tips on how to enjoy sex and to avoid spreading or getting COVID-19.
HAVE SEX WITH THE PEOPLE CLOSEST TO YOU
The closest person to you is YOU. Masturbation will not spread COVID-19. BUT, you need to wash your hands (and any sex toys) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after masturbating.
The next safest partner is someone you live with. Having close contact — including sex — with only a small circle of people helps prevent spreading COVID-19. Since we are in a stay-at-home order, this means your partners at home with you. (And, obvs, have sex only with consenting partners.)
Avoid sex with new partners. Since physical distancing outside the home is required, you shouldn't have contact— including sex — with anyone outside your household. If you do have sex with others, have as few partners as possible and use protection.
Sex online. If you usually meet your sex partners online or make a living by having sex, it is safest to take a break from in-person dates. Video dates, sexting, or chat rooms may be options for you.
PLAY IT SAFE
They're are a lot of 'avoids' below, so now is a good time to get creative to make play safe and satisfying!
- Kissing can easily pass COVID-19. Avoid kissing anyone who is not part of your small circle of close contacts.
- Avoid rimming (mouth on anus) because it might spread COVID-19. Virus in feces may enter your mouth.
- Or practice safer rimming. How? Use a dental dam to cover the anus. Soft, flexible, and stretchy, dental dams are great protection.
- When you first open the dental dam package, give it a rinse under cool water to take the powdery protection off of the material.
- Use condoms and dental dams to reduce contact with saliva or feces during anal and oral sex.
- And remember: condoms and dental dams are a one-and-done item. Don't clean and reuse.
- Need condoms, lube, or dental dams? We've got you covered. Fill out this form and we'll mail you a free, discreet safer sex kit!
BRING ON THE BUBBLES: WASH BEFORE AND AFTER
Think of washing as the new foreplay. All those bubbles...Washing up before and after sex is more important than ever.
- Wash hands often (and correctly) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Wash your sex toys before and after using them.
- How to wash them? Don't use disinfectant! But use the right method for the material.
- Disinfect keyboards, remotes, and touch screens that you share with others (for video chat, for watching pornography, or for anything else).
FEELING GOOD IS KEY FOR GOOD PLAY
DON’T have sex if you or your partner is not feeling well.
- If you or a partner may have COVID-19, avoid sex and, especially, kissing.
- If aren't feeling well and aren't sure if you are developing symptoms of COVID-19, check your symptoms or call us to schedule a telehealth appointment: 410-837-2050.
If you or your partner has a medical condition that can lead to more severe COVID-19, you may also want to skip sex.
- Medical conditions include lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer or a weakened immune system (for example, having unsuppressed HIV and a low CD4 count).
PROTECT YOUR HEALTH FROM THINGS OTHER THAN COVID-19
Prevent HIV, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and unplanned pregnancy.
- HIV: Condoms, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and having an undetectable viral load all help prevent HIV.
- Need condoms and lube? Hey, we can help you with that. Fill out this form.
- Curious about PrEP? Call our POWER team - let's talk: 410-837-2050 X8813.
- On PrEP and need more? Get refilled - even if you're not having sex right now: 410-837-2050 X8858.
- It's important you stay on PrEP without stopping or it might not work for you in the long run.
- Have HIV and need care? Well, let's get that for you right now! Give us a call: 410-837-2050 X8813.
- Remember, if you have HIV and are sticking with your treatment, regularly seeing your provider, and maintain undetectable viral loads, you are unable to pass HIV through sex! Learn more here.
- Other STIs: Condoms help prevent other STIs. Need condoms? Hey, we'll send them to you! Fill out the form.
- Pregnancy: Make sure you have an effective form of birth control for the coming weeks. Make an appointment with a Chase Brexton OB/GYN: 410-837-2050.